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The Man Utd Thread


5R7

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To be fair, the tactical switch to play Bruno deeper in the second half changed the game.  Over the past few months, Bruno has drifted further and further forward.  He's given a free role, as our creative fulcrum, but for a while he's interpreted that as playing up front.  I think that might come from Ole, who said before the match that we were playing 4-2-4 (which is pretty crazy in the modern game.)  From deeper, he was able to influence things, and we were much more cohesive.  Bruno is actually really good when he is able to almost play as a second striker, but if we're playing Ronaldo up top and Rashford running in behind, he needs to be deeper to put the balls in.  He was very good in the second half.  

 

(Scholes just now - "We've watched Van Gaal teams, Mourinho teams - boring.  Fu-  erm, boring."  Jake Humphrey - "You worried me for a second there."  :lol:)

 

I think Ronaldo proved that he is still capable of working hard.  That was his best performance since he came back.  The defending from him in the last ten minutes was very encouraging.

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9 hours ago, feltmonkey said:

Over the past few months, Bruno has drifted further and further forward.

 

That's his game to be fair. Was at Sporting, and has been at United. He's a midfielder in name only. That's not a criticism.

 

What Bruno does really well, is producing a high number of opportunities. That enables him to skip some of his off-the-ball responsibilities, because whoever is lying deepest in front of the opposition defence has to follow him around. Give him time AND space and you're going to pay. United don't exploit that space he makes anything like well enough.

 

Once Cavani and Ronaldo were on the pitch he dropped deeper, purely because there was always a body in space he would otherwise have occupied. He looks to find those areas wherever he can find them - pound to a penny he hasn't been told to drop deeper because he's playing too far forward. He plays where Ole wants him, and this was just a by-product of taking a risk with the sub.

 

Something I haven't seen any outlets pick up on, is why Ronaldo is capable of tracking back in the last twenty of a game when he's switched wide, but won't do it from the front. You can't bang on about what a great athlete he is and in the same breath give him a pass on his pressing because of his age. He's either fit enough, or he isn't. Those last twenty suggested there's a more-worrying managerial problem; that perhaps he doesn't think it's his place to lead that pressing from the centre of the park. If that can't be sorted, then Cavani should be given the starting nod. Reputations bedamned.

 

Over the past few games, through a variety of different circumstances, the one positive has been the revealing of United's best starting XI. Such a thing exists.

 

De Gea

 

Wan-Bissaka

Lindelof

Varane

Shaw

 

McTominay

Fred

 

Greenwood

Fernandes

Rashford

 

Cavani

 

That's not necessarily the eleven most-talented individuals, but it's the most-cohesive and dynamic unit United can put out. It's a big bonus for any squad to know its best eleven and to start from that template. It's not going to happen, but if Ole really wants to make good on his endless harping on about United's best traditions, the place to start is by making that eleven the foundation. United's best traditions meant going to toe-toe and often coming out on top in the toughest games, and winning more than most of the rest. You can't go toe-to-toe with bang average sides, drop points to sides not much better, be comfortably beaten by sides not much better than that, then go pointing to your last-minute win as if it was the Nou Camp in 1999.

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You're picking Lindelof because he plays a good pass every once in a while. He's too weak! Atalanta had that great chance in the 2nd half because Lindelof was bullied yet again. He's also shocking in the air for a CB. If Varane and Maguire are fit, they should always start.

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2 minutes ago, MikeBeaver said:

Ole getting sacked in the morning :(

 

you know what, why not!

he is categorically refusing to acknowledge and fix the problem.

and at the end of the day, he picks the team and sets out the way to play.

 

*waits to be proven wrong at the end of the game*

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The crazy thing is, on the ball we look quite good. If we hadn't gifted them two goals through absolutely dreadful defending, you'd be thinking we look decent.  But every time Liverpool get into our defensive third, we look like we've never played the game before. 

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Just now, feltmonkey said:

The crazy thing is, on the ball we look quite good. If we hadn't gifted them two goals through absolutely dreadful defending, you'd be thinking we look decent.  But every time Liverpool get into our defensive third, we look like we've never played the game before. 

 

There's nothing crazy about that. It's the story of a lot of the season. Varane and de Gea have held back the tide some, but the side is inbalanced and it shows.

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Yeah, I know - those defensive stats Sky put up are damning. 18th in the league in clean sheets, dead last in tackles and pressing. 

 

I remember a couple of years ago Ole saying he wanted his team to be the hardest working team in the league. What happened to that? We're currently one of the laziest teams, and it shows.  

 

Balance is an interesting subject, and it's not always about personnel.  Man City's midfield is unbalanced in favour of attacking players, but they all put a defensive shift in. 

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Get Cavani and Lingard on, some hard working players! Actually, they should have started, as a manager "should" be picking a team to play against the expected opposition, fergie used to.

And yeah, it means leaving "big" players out now and again, but, the team comes first!

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5 minutes ago, feltmonkey said:

No effort. Three players hanging about up on the halfway line as Liverpool come forward in attack. Several players pretending to press but not actually doing anything.

 

They can't press. If the whole side isn't doing it, it gets popped through with ease. Ronaldo can't or won't. Ole shouldn't be starting him, and everyone knows why the money suddenly appeared to sign him, despite there being none when Tchouaméni was ready to arrive.

 

Kerching.

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